POSTED: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 5:30pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 9:37pm
Baton Rouge, La (NBC33) — Police departments around the country are studying the bombings in Boston; that sentiment rings true in Baton Rouge, where there are lots of big public events.
“Football games, festivals, Mardi Gras parades - Baton Rouge does events,” stated BRPD Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, “which means the police department does lots of events, too. Every event we have in the Baton Rouge area - there are going to be police officers there."
That Baton Rouge Police Department says it has officers go through training exercises throughout the year. The local Office of Homeland Security sets up the drills for different types of emergencies, and coordinates the response as if it was the real thing.
"We do training with different agencies that put us in the mindset to be aware that things can possibly happen. And when they do, this is what we need to do," said McKneely.
BRPD wouldn't give many specifics about its response plans, but if something happens at a football game, for instance, officers can use their technology to team up and control the crowd and get people out safely.
"All the agencies can respond on one radio, and then from there, we can network and pool all our resources together."
However, the Boston Marathon is set up more like a traditional Mardi Gras parade - you don't need a ticket, there aren't special entrance points, and the route is miles long, so it's easy for a terrorist to get into the crowd.
"And with that (type of event), there are some variables that you cannot control. But if something like that happens, as it did in Boston, we would do exactly what they did," stated the corporal. “You evacuate the event that as quickly and safely as possible, and then from there, you start your investigation and gather as much information as you can."